50 states sign up to Walmart’s opioid settlement framework

In November, the retailer announced a settlement with multiple state attorneys general alleging the company failed to regulate opioid prescriptions that contributed to the national opioid crisis.

According to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, the settlement will also “include broad court order requirements that Walmart must comply with, such as robust oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.”

In this week’s announcement, walmart (WMT) The agreement with the 50 states “is designed to resolve substantially all opioid-related lawsuits brought against Walmart by state and local governments,” said the company.

“Walmart believes these settlements are in the best interest of all parties and will provide critical assistance to communities across the country in response to the opioid crisis, reaching state and local governments faster than any other national opioid settlement to date. Fast, subject to all settlement requirements,” the company said in a statement.

Walmart added that it “strongly disputes the allegations in these matters, and these settlements do not include any admission of liability.”

‘Promising negotiations’ still ongoing with other pharmacies, including walgreens (world boxing federation) with CV (CV), James’ office said last month. The two chains tentatively agreed to pay a combined $10 billion to settle lawsuits brought by state and local governments alleging the retailers mishandled prescriptions for the opioid painkiller.
U.S. states, cities and counties have filed more than 3,000 lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, alleging they downplayed the risk of addiction and failed to prevent the diversion of the pills for illicit use.
The U.S. opioid crisis has led to more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the past two decades — more than 80,000 of them in 2021 alone — and an estimated 9.5 million Americans age 12 and older reported abuse in 2020, government data shows Opioids, including 9.3 million prescription pain medication abusers and 902,000 heroin users.

— CNN’s Shawn Nottingham and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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